Pro Golfers Deny Ripping Tiger in Gossip Rag

By doug ferguson
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 2:54 PM EDT
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Pro Golfers Deny Ripping Tiger in Gossip Rag

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 06: Ben Crane lines up a putt during round one at The Barclays on August 27, 2009 at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Two pro golfers quoted by a weekly U.S. magazine as making disparaging remarks about Tiger Woods and his marriage said on Thursday they never spoke to the publication.

In a story that Life & Style posted on its Web site, Ben Crane is quoted as saying Woods is a “phony and a fake” and that Woods’ wife knew about allegations of extramarital affairs. It also quotes Charles Warren as saying Woods’ wife “had stars in her eyes and maybe dollar signs too” and should leave him.

The magazine said in a statement it was investigating.

“This is unbelievable,” Crane told The Associated Press from his Dallas-area home. “I never said a word about anything. They print this and put my name next to it.”

Warren said through his agent that he has not given an interview of any kind in two months.

“I have not spoken to Life & Style magazine, so there is no story here,” Warren said in a statement.

Crane’s agent, Tommy Limbaugh of 4UManagement, said a magazine official told him the interview took place at the U.S. PGA Tour Qualifying tournament last week at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach.

Crane finished 51st on the tour money list this year and was not at Q-school. Warren, who finished 147th on the money list, withdrew from Q-school before the final round. He was too far back to earn his card.

“We sent an experienced freelance reporter to a golf tournament attended by several PGA pros,” the magazine said in a statement. “Our reporter spoke with two golfers who presented themselves as Ben Crane and Charles Warren. We are taking these claims very seriously and investigating further.”

Asked if the magazine took photos of the golfers it interviewed, a spokeswoman declined further comment. Life & Style published the quotes on Wednesday, and several Web sites posted them Thursday.

Crane said he first learned about the quotes early Thursday when his agent called.

“At that point, I was like, ‘OK, that’s the farthest thing from the truth,”’ Crane said. “I didn’t realize I should be proactively calling you and (other journalists) until all of a sudden the tour called and said they wanted to run it (on television).”

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